Describes itself as a 'madcap regency romance' and it goes all out in a way I didn't find at all entertaining. I was expecting some fun Heyer-esque coDescribes itself as a 'madcap regency romance' and it goes all out in a way I didn't find at all entertaining. I was expecting some fun Heyer-esque comedy, but instead we have a duke yelling "go boil your head" at a woman who owns a goat and gets drunk at dinner. There are interludes of maids staring at butts and lots of exposition to the heroine's deceased mother's portrait and then we cut to the mother, as an angel, drinking and watching this. It's 900% trying to hard to be zany and ended up not being any fun at all for me, so I did not finish. ...more
My husband and I have been pretty into D and D lately (Blame Critical Role and The Adventure Zone) so I was excited to see this pretty little goblin bMy husband and I have been pretty into D and D lately (Blame Critical Role and The Adventure Zone) so I was excited to see this pretty little goblin book. I also maybe call my daughter "the goblin princess" pretty often. I am the goblin QUEEN.
The illustrations are absolutely adorable and I loved the different goblin designs. Just perfect. At the end I was a bit confused about why there was a pretty woman on the goblin's side, but going back, I realize she was with the captured loot and the goblins freed her. So it's possible you'll have to bring that up with your child, but I think it's easy enough to discuss that's how you can tell the adventurers were no good, they tried to steal a person. Maybe they didn't know skeleton was a person, but they definitely knew this lady was.
I never liked the hero enough to get into this one. I kept reading, thinking I must be nearing the end, then my kindle told me it was only 55%! So, I'I never liked the hero enough to get into this one. I kept reading, thinking I must be nearing the end, then my kindle told me it was only 55%! So, I've been trying lately to not force myself to finish books, even review copies. Life is too short and my time is too precious. ...more
guy meets girl who fell and dropped groceries outside of condo. He offers to help, goes inside condo with her, she falls asleep, he unpacks groceriesguy meets girl who fell and dropped groceries outside of condo. He offers to help, goes inside condo with her, she falls asleep, he unpacks groceries for her and then proceeds to unpack all of her move-in boxes for her? Including bringing in someone she has never met to help and handle all of her things? I would KILL him. If he didn't murder me first.
He sees a picture of her with a guy and immediately gets angry because HE was thinking gross explicit sexual stuff about the sleeping woman he just met and he can't do that if she 'belongs to another man'
So anyway I am super grossed out
This guy, who has spoken like, one sentence, to the female lead, proceeds to be gross to her when they run into each other at the beach, saying angry things about her having time with her boyfriend. It all felt very abusive. Then, a new character is introduced, and clearly we are meant to hate her since she has fake boobs and is willing to have rough sex? Although the male lead is eager to have sex with her in an alleyway? And his though process is so gross. I like dirty talk in erotica and I'm not offended by any of the words, but this felt gross. Probably because it was almost out of the blue, and we know nothing about this guy even though we are in his head, and we know he hates the girl he wants to fuck. It felt like some gross couple at a park making out and you have to leave and end up feeling violated.
I'm not even gonna keep hate reading this. Not enough time in this world. (Also, I read for about a minute to get this far, and apparently I'm 22% done?)...more
So the first two books were just sort of enjoyable fantasy, but this one goes off the rails a bit. It's still fun and I read all three of these in likSo the first two books were just sort of enjoyable fantasy, but this one goes off the rails a bit. It's still fun and I read all three of these in like, a day, so especially for free I'm totally into it but the relationship is fully cyclical and could continue on like this indefinitely, with Alex needing Jamie and having sex and then saying it can never happen and pushing her away and Jamie being mad and then immediately forgiving him. So that's a little frustrating. Then there's the fact that this really really could have been written with a predictive text generator full of romance tropes and early '00's slang. Suddenly characters are described a certain way when they never have before (and we should know who 'the Italian woman' is in descriptive text?) and there's so much odd phrasing. For some reason, the one that stuck out to me was Mark, upon visiting NYC for the first time in ages, wants to grab a slice of pizza at a deli he knows. Why not say pizzeria? Or have him want a sandwich at the deli? I had problems with the Philly portions of the second book, because of course I do, and they name dropped the hotel I spent my wedding night in and anyway. I'm not convinced the author has been anywhere on the East Coast, honestly. In this one, like the others, there is no sense of time (How long has it been since she was hired at any given point? Who knows?) or place (The offices are supposedly in NYC, right? But the compound they live in can't possibly be. Maybe Westchester? And they keep discussing going to New York, which doesn't make sense if you're IN New York and you would never fly to Philadelphia from New York, I think even a private plane would take longer than driving.) and there continue to be loads of plots that are dropped and characters that are used for one task and change personalities as soon as they are done.(Now that we don't need her family to hate her for the CInderella aspect, I guess Jamie's mom and sister love her and they get drunk together and have fun! Whee!)
So I have a LOT of problems with these three-books-who-are-we-kidding-its-one-book-guys-learn-to-edit, but this isn't a bad review. It was still a quick and fun read that gives you what you want, tropes-wise, without being confined with any of that desire to show healthy growth in a main character or a healthy relationship. ...more
I got this book for free on amazon, and while I usually try to not let how much I paid/how I got a book color my reviews, this is one that hinges on tI got this book for free on amazon, and while I usually try to not let how much I paid/how I got a book color my reviews, this is one that hinges on the fact that it was free. The first three books bundled together took less than a day to read and cost me zero dollars. That changes what I need out of it to be considered a success. I enjoyed reading this, even the "bad" bits just made me laugh a little. If I paid anything I don't think I could have been so kind.
As it is, I grabbed it because of the cinderella tropes, mean family who takes advantage of the heroine who is somewhat chubby and gets a job/saved by billionaire boss. All of those are my jam.
None of these tropes are really absorbed into a larger story, it's more like a computer checklist of 'these tropes sell, use them' and that was frustrating. No body learns any kind of lesson at all from anything. Jamie's ex is marrying her sister and instead of some delicious angst it's just... the guy sexually assaults Jamie in a parking garage? And the hero fights him and threatens him, but spoiler alert, he still ends up marrying Jamie's sister, Christine. Like, no comeuppance at all. Most books would show some change in Jamie and Christine's relationship with that revelation and Jamie helping Christine out of that bad relationship and maybe to coming into her own in the big city or something. Nope, not here. The weight loss storyline was rough, too. Please, authors, don't use actual numbers if you can manage it. Everyone uses phrases like blubbering whale to describe Jamie for ages then at one point the text lets slip that she's a size 8/10? Are you fucking kidding me? We got the beginning of a journey that went "I'd like to lose a couple pounds but my family is rude and delusional that they think I am enormous. I want to do this for me and I should be exercising anyway." but it immediately segued into girl terrified of the gym turns into an exercise anorexic (she constantly thinks about exercise, and turns to it for comfort, her body getting smaller is described constantly and with great emphasis) She looses weight, and every male character takes pains to let her know she's gorgeous but they like some curves and real women have curves and she demures slightly to her client saying this is almost sexual harassment but lets him continue. Lady. You clearly have no idea what is appropriate for a workplace but men commenting on your body never is. So anyway, she loses weight and it makes her family love her. Truly. That's the closest we get to a message.
I was into the idea that Alex always liked Jamie and was kind of a nerd going after her from the beginning, we don't get that a lot in boss themed books, they're usually stoic and silent and hard. But then, the computer checking off tropes remembered that billionaire bosses have to have dark pasts and be emotionally unavailable so he changed real quick. At multiple points in these three books, he desires Jamie, has his way with her, then immediately tells her it can't happen again, she is hurt, says something angry, they go different ways, then apologize and forgive each other right away next time they see each other.
So, this is a very long and kind of angry rant about a book I didn't dislike! There's just a lot to pick apart here. I'm self aware enough that I am fine treating this as candy with no redeeming lessons or values, and I don't have triggers such that the sexual assault or the eating disorder/weight loss aspects bother me on any more than a sloppy writing level, but not everybody has that luxury.
For a different book hitting the boss-billionaire-cinderella tropes that has its own problems but I still think is more fun, try Yes, Please...more
I found this book to be rather odd, especially for a romance. There's a good sense of place, but I had difficulties with figuring out the era (it saysI found this book to be rather odd, especially for a romance. There's a good sense of place, but I had difficulties with figuring out the era (it says 1902 in plot description here) probably due to not having the cultural knowledge to know when mining booms were in Australia. I would think I had a handle on it but then some more modern wording would throw me off or the appearance of a gramophone.
There were also a lot of points where I felt very aware that this was written by a man. Nothing too overt, just words or thoughts from the heroine that didn't ring true, or maybe the focus on female body parts that felt male gaze to me rather than descriptive. The hero kisses the heroine after she's taken pain killers for a twisted ankle and he thinks she's asleep. He (paraphrased) thinks 'oh man should I have done that? Oh well thankfully she's in a drugged sleep so she doesn't know I did'. The hero thinks he is in love with another woman, and a lot of his reasoning for going after the heroine instead is that the OW was 'cold' and didn't put out when he thought she would? It wasn't spelled out but I was uncomfortable and basically felt that a female author would never write that.
There is a character named Ah Foo whose dialogue is best skipped over. There has got to be a way to write a realistic non-native English speaker without being racist but I don't have the answer and I don't think the author does either. Similarly, the h meets the H to tutor him in his speech and manners, so we must expect the hero to speak poorly but there must be a way to convey that without making me read poor grammar over and over. Perhaps just writing that he had a coarse accent or mispronounced things? He gets better quickly, thankfully, but I am still traumatized by the amount of times I read the word "youse" instead of "you". (And always referring to a singular you, never like 'youse guys' which is something people might slangily say here in Philly. Is this an australia in 1902 thing, or was it a poor authorial choice of picking how the character sounds uneducated?)
It wasn't really a bad book, there were just so many things that I wanted to say "Uh buddy, did you mean for X to come across this way?" or "Did you realize Y is the message this is sending and is that actually what you intend?" about and it added up to too much. ...more
"Why do women always think talking will solve everything?"
I try to not look at anything before I read my netgalley books, in order to keep as open of"Why do women always think talking will solve everything?"
I try to not look at anything before I read my netgalley books, in order to keep as open of a mind as possible, but I should have at least checked Goodreads for this one, because I had already read How To Sleep With The Boss and didn't like it at all. This is the story of that hero's brother, and he's just as insufferable.
The heroine, Lila, suddenly has custody of her estranged half sister's child, dealing with all kinds of guilt and worry and fears of being a good mom while not wanting to lose her career goals etc. She's an interesting character, but instead of exploring that we get James. James, the hero, is a billionaire who does home renovations and is just as hung up over his missing/presumed dead father as the other hero was. He thinks a lot about Lila's body parts but not much about her, and acts like he hates her. Honestly, he goads her on purpose over and over in this book, and then acts hurt when she responds at all. it's emotional abuse, not romance. I'm not interested in reading this, honestly. There's a lot of gaslighting and even reproductive coercion here. At one point he thinks that her distrust of his motives is insulting, even though she's right. He actually thinks that! Look, dude, you don't get to be insulted that she's on to your game.
If you'd like to read about a 'nice guy' who gets the heroine and her baby to stay at his house and won't let them go to a hotel instead, then repeatedly tries to manipulate the heroine into quitting her job so she can be a stay at home mom instead (as a single mom? Really?) and thinks things such as "Maybe he had been trying to get a rise out of her. He wasn't sure why", then you won't mind this book. I really really minded, and have to avoid this author.
There were a couple name mix-ups and continuity errors that I am going to just assume are my galley copy's fault, but mostly my unhappiness was with the unhealthy relationship and the lack of any joy, fun or even delicious angst found in this story....more
Claire is one of a group of Wallflowers who have decided to seize their own destinies. She has had a crush on one of the brother-of-a-friend's friendsClaire is one of a group of Wallflowers who have decided to seize their own destinies. She has had a crush on one of the brother-of-a-friend's friends, one she never pursued after the popular girls insulted her during her Season. Instead, she retreated into herself and studied. She ends up fluent in four languages, including French, which is where Jonathon comes in. He has no idea that she's nursed a crush on him for all these years, but he needs a French tutor and Claire is right there.
Throughout, both the H and h are charming and likable. Jonathon's brother drama wasn't too interesting to me, but it gave a good reason for him wanting to achieve his goals, even at the cost of love. I appreciated that Claire was always described as pretty, just not really fashionable and far too willing to fade into the background, so her change was believable.
I'll definitely read the next books in the series, I am assuming the things that didn't get wrapped up very neatly will be addressed in next books (I loved that (view spoiler)[the hero stood up to the rival and the heroine even slapped her but I still kind of wanted closure or a bigger set down? Maybe I'm just vindictive? (hide spoiler)]).
Overall, highly recommended if you like any of the trope shelves I listed it under....more
Dedicating your book (or comparing your book) to Heyer or Austen are things that don't usually work out well for the author, and something I rarely seDedicating your book (or comparing your book) to Heyer or Austen are things that don't usually work out well for the author, and something I rarely see on appropriate novels. This is one where the resemblance to Heyer is both accurate and helpful to get a feel for the type of book it is.
To get the pure opinion out of the way, I really enjoyed this book. I'm not sure if it is something I would want to re-read or not (which is usually a whole star difference for me) but I am glad I read it and recommend it.
Now, for tone and Heyer-ness, it mostly reads like an older and older fashioned novel, less about the 'main' characters and more about the younger, sillier couple (to the point where I'm not sure the "vengeful act" of Verity's sister is really properly described (I read one line about it and eventually had to flip back to see ... was that it? That's what happened?) nor are the main H and h's past relationship really looked at. We're just told it was a grand romance. These are things that might be problems in a more traditionally "modern" book, but the slight pastiche feel instead adds to it being more about the manners and the overall romance-rather-than-love-story.
There are a few 'modern' touches in slightly more sexual thoughts and more jumps into the villain's head, enough to keep it from feeling dated.
I would definitely read more from this author....more
Plot description: Isabel and Caleb met at a conference and had great sex, then end up having to work together. These plots in romances often start thePlot description: Isabel and Caleb met at a conference and had great sex, then end up having to work together. These plots in romances often start the reader at the point where they have to work together, and while that can be fun, I found it refreshing that we actually start at the beginning. The conference is the first half of the book. Because of that, we see Isabel's decision to let loose, the initial attraction, and the sex that maybe has feelings, all as they happen rather than being told or being shown in flashbacks. 'Attractive woman hides herself in frumpy clothes and acts prim' is not an uncommon conceit in romances, but for once the setting of video game development made the desire to seem asexual (if one must be seen as a woman at all) a smart one. Gamergate, anyone?
I also appreciated the low drama. There's a villain and all that but the focus is on these two people and them navigating what kind of relationship they want, what level of commitment while acting on sexual attraction, etc. (view spoiler)[I loved having the villain be more of a jagweed than actually evil, it read as realistic and gave Isabel a real victory to tell him off. It felt like an interaction I could have rather than the usual story where he would be embezzling or get her fired or something. He was a real-world jerk, which made for a cathartic read. (hide spoiler)]...more
A book I really enjoyed and would go back to reread at some point. I'm more interested in the author's future works than other books in the same serieA book I really enjoyed and would go back to reread at some point. I'm more interested in the author's future works than other books in the same series.
This is one of those books I would recommend based on tropes and level of fluff desired, as opposed to a 'great to recommend for anyone' type. It's silly and melodramatic at times and a lot of back and forth between the H and h either being friends or romantically involved. It could get tiring but since I was engaged and enjoying myself, I liked it. For a book in the governess/companion trope shelf, the hero was actually concerned about the heroine's position and not making things difficult for her (why is that so rare? I am so tired of the poor governess having to spell out to some idiot duke why there's a power imbalance there and how if she were fired she would starve to death) I agree with others who say the ending drags, but then oddly enough there's a page or so at the end that seemed to wrap up too quickly. (view spoiler)[The grandfather should have had some more comeuppance in my opinion, someone needed to tell him he lost his daughter due to his own behavior and now he will lose his granddaughter so shape up dummy but instead he sort of bent slightly and 'allowed' the heroine her happy ending and I just sort of rolled my eyes cause you know that guy's gonna guilt trip her for the rest of his life (hide spoiler)] ...more